Transfer Student Success Strategies Highlighted at Faculty Meeting

A first-ever cross-disciplinary meeting of community college and DePaul faculty was convened in September on the Lincoln Park Campus, bringing together 75 faculty members dedicated to supporting transfer students as they transition to DePaul.  

The purpose of the meeting was to analyze the latest outcomes for transfer students at DePaul and strategize about innovative ways to support transfer students coming to the university. Hosted by EMM’s Community College Partnerships, this roundtable-style meeting event continued efforts to cultivate relationships between DePaul faculty and their community college counterparts and strengthen transfer pipelines.

Sharing Positive Outcomes for Transfers at DePaul 
Transfer students perform as well or better than other undergraduates on many measures of academic success at DePaul. Faculty received customized data reports, prepared by EMM’s Institutional Research & Market Analytics (IRMA), that illustrate this reality, including details about the enrollment and academic profile of transfer students from each institution present. IRMA also shared information about specific subject areas and courses in which transfer students have challenges at DePaul. Summary information on national, state and DePaul-specific transfer data was also provided.

Faculty Impact on Transfer Student Success
Faculty are often the biggest influencers of the educational trajectories of transfer students—even more than counselors or advisors at the community college—so involving them is an important strategy in partnering with community colleges. DePaul becomes a more viable recommendation for community college faculty particularly if they have visited campus, met with DePaul faculty, and are educated about DePaul’s academic programs and transfer student success rates. 

IRMA staff led breakout discussions about the role of faculty in facilitating the transfer of students to DePaul, emerging trends in the transfer population, course content, teaching best practices and ways to promote students’ success after transferring to DePaul. The outcomes from these discussions were captured to inform future meetings. 

Open Dialogue Between DePaul and Community College Faculty
Over the past three years, Community College Partnerships has regularly hosted a number of faculty roundtable meetings grouped by DePaul college or major and typically attended by 10 to 15 total faculty members. The September event was a natural progression from those meetings and generated positive reactions.

“The larger event created a more collaborative spirit. The faculty were engaged in lively conversations during the breakout sessions and we received enthusiastic feedback,” says Lois Bishop, director for Community College Partnerships.  She added, “DePaul faculty appreciated the opportunity to discuss what can be done academically to help students transfer and succeed here.” 

Since the event, deans and faculty from a number of community colleges and disciplines have requested follow-up meetings with DePaul faculty; classroom visits for their students to DePaul classes; specific program degree plans for associate to bachelor’s degrees; and DePaul faculty participation in community college program review and revision processes.  

A total of 58 faculty members from 16 of DePaul’s primary feeder community colleges, along with 17 DePaul faculty from all colleges (except Law, Music and Theatre) attended the event. All the participating community colleges are partner schools in the DePaul Admission Partnership Program (DAPP), the university’s transfer admission program that creates baccalaureate-degree pathways for students who start their studies at a partner community college and aspire to finish at DePaul. 

For more information about the faculty roundtable events or other community college initiatives, contact Lois Bishop, director for Community College Partnerships.